Commentary: A chilling reminder of Armenian genocide

This editorial appeared in The Fresno Bee.

A chilling bit of new evidence has emerged in the controversy over the Armenian genocide, and it comes from an unlikely source: the records of the man who was in charge of the deportation of tens of thousands of Armenians during World War I, when the genocide began.

A book published in Turkey in January quotes records left by Mehmed Talat, the Ottoman Empire's interior minister during that period. By the numbers, the population of Armenians in the empire fell dramatically in 1915-1916, from just under 1.3 million to a little more than 280,000. Almost 1 million people simply disappeared from the records.

The modern-day Turkish government, as always, has little to say about the figures beyond its standard line about there being a war on, and the Armenians were treacherously supporting Russia, the Ottomans' ancient enemy.

As always, that story doesn't wash. The armed opposition of a tiny handful of Armenians doesn't explain the Ottomans' perceived need to deport, starve and kill some 1.5 million people, many thousands of them old men, women and children.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.

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